The 12x20 Custom Cart

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Brickbird, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Thought I would share the final product I have been tinkering with for a while. I wanted an easier way to transport the 12x20, 4 holders, and my Gitzo with one cart holding everything. I started with an old Samsonite that is 30" in length. Then went and bought 2 tube tires at Northern Supply that are each good to 150 lbs. Called my good friend Mike who is a genius at design and fabrication with all things of metal and steel. After giving him the idea he went to work cutting and building steel square tubing, angle iron supports for the 1/2" axle and we ended up with this great carryall for all the gear. It rolls like a dream, has a pivoting arm that swings out to put it down at a 45 degree angle, and holds everything plus some. My Big Bend trips are about to become a pleasure. If anyone has questions e-mail me and I will be happy to answer any and all.
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  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice. Thanks for posting.
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Nice rig. Thanks for posting as it may give folks some inexpensive design options.

    But it will still be hot as hell in Big Bend.

    Sandy King


     
  4. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Sandy...I never go in the summer for obvious reasons. Usually go Jan.-March and at Chisos Basin it is usually 20 degrees in the AM when I get up at 5am. I will be giving the cart a trial run this weekend with a 1 mile trek at a lake near my home and if all works out Big Bend is 10 hours away....And by the way, do you have any cherry 12x20 holders in stock?...cherry would match the Lotus.........Tav
     
  5. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I was in Big Bend a couple of times in June with a 12X20 and the heat was god awful. Would like to go back sometime when it is cooler. Beautiful place and lots of photographic opportunities.

    Send me a pm to sanking@clemson.edu. We have 12X20 holders in stock but need to check your dimensions.

    BTW, did you know Luc Novvitch (spelling?). He had a gallery in Marathon for a few years, the Sotel Gallery I believe it was called, but appears to have left the area.

    Sandy





     
  6. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Oh man, a guy'd look so hilariously ridiculous dragging what looks like an all-terrain roll-on suitcase along a hiking trail (and it would be enjoyable knowing you've got a good reason).. I'm jealous :wink:
     
  7. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Didn't know about Luc. Last time I was there I went by to see James Evans and had a nice visit with him. His book on Big Bend is very nice, just like him. You gotta love Marathon and its citizens. Did you make it to Shirley's Burnt Biscuit in Marathon? Oh my!
     
  8. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Walter....No kidding. The first one to make any snide remarks about the cart on the trail gets a tripod leg up his butt. Then he gets fed to the bears like a popsicle.....I'm just lucky that I was able to find mud-grip tires for max traction....baby Goodrich Mud-Terrains!

    MONTY, where are you? You must be working tonight. If you could find a suitcase big enough this cart would be the livin' end for you and your 20x24 and I could get one put together for ya in about 1 week............Tav
     
  9. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I'm really impressed with how nice this looks.
     
  10. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Chazzy....You are very kind to say so. I had thought about this for over a year and then it literally hit me in an instant when I was in Northern and saw the tires with the 1/2" holes for the axle. I think that the passion we have about ULF and all that goes with it can be dampened alot by the thoughts that come with the territory. I have had to stay close to the vehicle so many times knowing that my destination was just out of reach. I had thought about and had designed a backpack for the beast but that became a bad reality show. So now I get to bang this thing around some hiking trails and mud and rocks and see what fails. I can't wait to give it a try. I'm just glad I don't have to deal with NHTSA.
     
  11. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Do you push or pull it along? Are the wheels these, we don't have a Northern in our area but I can order online. These are pretty inexpensive. Who doesn't have a suitcase like yours laying around? I have a Calumet C1 8x10 sitting in one right now. There wasn't a good inexpensive case for it so I just put it in a suitcase to store it. Add some wheels, an axle, a handle and it's good to go. Did you attach the axle to the case with some metal brackets?

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_13794_13794

    Curt
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2009
  12. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Curt...Those are the tires but mine go to 40 psi and I have 34 in them now. Inside the case at the bottom of mine was a piece of wood. Behind that piece goes a steel plate about the same size and bolted to the wood. Then on the outside is a piece of 90 degree angled steel bolted to the inside piece. Then a 1/2" piece of round steel is welded to the angled piece on the outside and then the wheels go on. Brass bushings on both sides of the wheels. Drill a hole through the end of each side of the axle outside of the wheel and a cotter pin goes through the hole. My Samsonite has a built-in pull-out handle. The pull-out angled bar at 45 degrees is a more complicated matter. It is not necessary but I wanted it so that I could swing out the T-bar from the case and have it rest at an angle so I could pull out the film holders and take the tripod off the top of the case before doing anything else. I will take some photos tomorrow of the fabrication and post them for a better look for you. If you can cut steel and weld it can all be done in a few days. But the best part is the simplicity of the angled piece at the bottom with the axle welded to it and then the wheels just attach by sliding on. I figure the whole thing with cart, camera, holders and tripod weighs about 70-80 pounds...but there are no brackets for the axle. You'll see how it works in the pics. I pull the cart and it really glides along with those inflatable tires. Solid mower type would be a bummer so these tires are great for airing them for the conditions you are working in. Check in on this thread mid-afternoon and I should have what you need.....Here is another shot-different angle...........Tav
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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2009
  13. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    That's excellent, thanks
     
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  15. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Curt.......I just e-mailed you 10 pics of the cart.........Tav
     
  16. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Tav, I just got back in from my trip to Yosemite and I only took my 11x14 with me this time. I have both the 11x14 and 8x20 and something like this would be nice to have. I have packs for both and this gives me some ideas. I'm curious how the tripod and holders go on. I was thinking of modifying my golf bag cart to something like this but this looks way better. I just would need to modify it so it could haul two different systems. More pic's would be great. Thanks.

    Jim
     
  17. Brickbird

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    Jim.....What pics would you like? I think this set-up would work for both cameras and you would just have 2 separate foam inserts for each camera. Since this is a Samsonite it has the large front zippered area on the case on the outside front. There are two compartments separated with a stitch. I cut the thread and that opened up the entire front top to bottom and allowed me to put at least 3, if not 4, 12x20 holders inside the front compartment. The built- in handle pulls out and I just put the tripod on that handle and wrap it with a tight bungee cord and I'm off. Your only modification would be the inexpensive foam rubber cut out for each camera. That expense was $50 for foam rubber. I also have a 11x14 Deardorff and it just fits into the hole I cut out for the 12x20 and I can get more holders in the front for the 11x14. I have not put them in yet to see how many it will hold. I e-mailed Curt 10 pics of the cart and if you want those let me know along with any other specific shots. For my Lotus I needed at least 27 inches in length and this Samsonite is 30 inches so it was perfect. I would think your 8x20 would fit fine in that size. Let me know what you need. Mike Chapman, long-time friend and jack-of-all-things, did all the fabrication and mentioned he would do another one. Kind of like building a camera!....................Tav
     
  18. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    (Sniff, sniff...) I miss that camera... Nice job on the sport utility camera case!
     
  19. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Thanks Kerik...I couldn't have done it without you!....The thing works like a H1 Hummer. All it needs is a .50 caliber on top just to finish it off.....TW
     
  20. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    cart

    Another option that I have looked into is a "game hauler". They are designed to keep all the weight off the handle. With a few strategically placed velcro fasteners you should be able to attach your existing pack to it with no problems at all. If it can haul a 200lb deer ( Ohio deer, we grow em big here) without any back breaking effort it should haul all the gear you can throw at it. This one from Cabelas folds up into a nice little package. http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...parentType=index&indexId=cat601052&hasJS=true
     
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  21. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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  22. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Robert...I looked into that one but I couldn't get the Lotus to balance properly on top of that deer but figured I could hang the tripod from his antlers....and I would have venison nightly for dinner. Seriously though, I did this because the suitcase was hanging around AND I have a good friend who could fabricate the pieces. Other than that, I would have purchased the one you mention. The only thing I did not like about that hauler are the solid tires. But that could be easily fixed with the ones I bought if the axle on the hauler had a 1/2 inch axle. I know that the inflatable tires make a huge difference in the ride.
     
  23. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I have a friend who bought one of the aluminum models this past deer season. I haven't seen it yet. But he likes the solid rubber tires and the fact that they are 16" tires makes handling a little rougher terrain much easier than smaller tires, so he claims. I agree an inflatable tire will give you a more cushioned ride, unless of course you puncture one on the trail.( Note: carry can of fix-a-flat) Does the place you bought yours offer a larger tire? I'll have to go over and load a couple of my 50lb plus pelican cases on it and drag it through his woods and see how it performs. He's getting a little older and he says he would not even attempt hunting alone anymore if he hadn't bought the game hauler. He bagged a nice little 4 point this year and hauled it over a 1/2 mile with the cart and he claims he wasn't even breathing hard. ( Now that claim may be a stretch). Deer hunting tales can be a lot like fishing stories. But I'll let you know what I think of his when I see it.
     
  24. Brickbird

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    Robert...Northern does offer larger tires that are inflatable like the size of the game cart. Those would roll even nicer but the hubs on those larger tires are about 2.5 inches in width. That may or may not be a problem but my axle is now fixed in length and I could not use those now. I think those game haulers would work great as you could photograph AND go deer hunting at the same time...............TW
     
  25. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    The same pic's will be just fine. Thanks,

    Jim
     
  26. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I'm really amazed looking at this. Although I am a bit worried that some serious Gear Acquisition Syndrome could result from this...I'm putting it out there publically now: if I start talking about getting a 12x20, someone tie me down until it passes, please.